We Analyzed 5221 Emails That Did $6M in Sales. Here's What We Learned About Email Marketing Tactics...

Written by Michael Cheney. Posted on 22nd January 2021

Email Marketing TacticsEmail marketing tactics are a dime a dozen.

But not tactics like this...

Over the past several years we've sent 5221 emails in our email marketing efforts.

They brought in more than $6 Million.

In this free training I'm going to show you the exact process we use on a daily basis to research, create and send our marketing emails based on what we learned when analyzing the 5000+ emails we've sent to date...

Let's do this...

Step 1. Start With The End In Mind

Email Marketing TargetBefore you write a single word of your email, and dive into email marketing tactics, you need to be very clear on what your objective is.

Maybe you're trying to get a sale.

Perhaps you want to raise awareness.

Or maybe you're trying to encourage social media interaction.

Or you might want to encourage people to reply to your email to boost engagement and get more of your emails into people's inboxes.

(Read more about this Boomerang Boost Method here).

Perhaps you want to conduct a survey or...

Leverage your email list-power by getting people to spread the word about your brand?

I'm going to share a case study with you on this page.

Of course;

Email Marketing Case StudyI can't show you all 5221 emails on this page!

So instead, I've chosen a very successful campaign, which was created with our email marketing best practices.

On this occasion we were promoting an affiliate offer for the product "Covert Commissions".

Our objective was simple;

Get sales.

Regardless of your objective with your email marketing, one thing is clear -

You need to get the click.

"If people don't click the link in your email you can forget all other email marketing tactics - it's game over."

Depending on the objective that you choose the approach will differ every time.

I'm focusing on getting sales in this case study because this is the most common objective that you are likely to have.

With that said, let's move on to...

Step 2. Analyze The Final Call To Action

Send Emails to Drive SalesWhat you're doing here feels backwards.

You need to look at the very final step in the entire sales process and that is;

Getting somebody to click the "Add to Cart" button.

Your job in email marketing is to sell the click which gets them to the offer.

You are not selling the product or service.

You are merely encouraging people to click and look at the product or service.

But before you even start writing your email, you need to go and look at the page which sells the offer.

It could be your offer.

Or, in the example of this case study, it could be an affiliate offer.

In either case;

"You need to really analyse the offer page you are sending people to. Study the final call-to-action and how it is described."

Covert Commissions Email Case StudyWhat is the wording on the call-to-action button on that page?

What is the angle or story that's being used in the sales copy?

What is the headline on the sales letter?

Our objective was to make sales of the "Covert Commissions" program -

It's a service that creates opt in pages for you, so you can easily build a list and generate sales from that list.

So the first step was to analyze that sales letter.

I looked at the sales letter headline, I analysed the themes and stories being used and;

It was fairly clear there was a military-type theme.

I decided to jump on this for my emails.

"Having an over-arching theme for your email marketing tactics gives you an easy hook to hang all the content on. It makes it easier to create hot-converting emails."

Connect Your Emails with One ThemeQuite often, I also use a similar headline from the sales letter inside my emails.

There is no disconnect.

You are pre-framing the offer perfectly.

Spend a lot of time analysing the final destination you're sending people to.

Then work backwards from the final destination, to the click of the link, to the first sentence of your email, and to the subject line.

This is one of the little-known email marketing tactics which gets great results.

So now it's time to move on to...

Step 3. Brainstorm The Best Subject Lines

Brainstorm the Best Email Subject LinesBefore you start cranking out subject lines it's always a good idea to remind yourself of who your prospect really is;

Put yourself in their shoes.

Literally imagine you are your prospect.

  • How does it feel?
  • What are you worried about?
  • What would you love to see appear in your inbox?

It's easy to dive right into writing an email without taking this essential step.

Be sure to draw on all your previous experience of sending emails to these prospects - what has worked well in the past?

Which subject lines have bombed?

Here are some ideas for you on how to come up with ideas for the best subject lines;

You can use shock, or controversy

Maybe think if there is anything happening in the news that you can talk about

Are there any new movies out that have captured public interest?

Is there anything that has happened to you personally that you could tell a story about?

There are many other subject line types but critically;

Your email subject line needs to answer the question -

"What is happening right now?"

Also consider;

Would it be possible for you to theme your entire email marketing campaign?

This is exactly what I did for this case study.

Personally, it's my preference to always write the subject lines first.

I wrote an entire campaign's worth of email subject lines and as you can see, they all have a military theme.

They either based on military movies or military type quotes include headlines here;

SUBJECT: "On your feet, maggot!!"

SUBJECT: Saving Private Newbie


SUBJECT: Full Metal Affiliate

SUBJECT: The first casualty of the Affiliate War is innocence...

SUBJECT: A Few Good Affiliates...

SUBJECT: Affiliate Apocalypse Now.

SUBJECT: Most affiliates die at bootcamp...

SUBJECT: It's a war out there and you're armed with a peashooter

Important Note;

I wrote all of these subject lines before writing any of the content.

I definitely had ideas about what some of the content might be for some of the subject lines.

But rather than dive into the nitty-gritty of writing the emails;

You just need to get the subject lines down first.

"Your entire email marketing campaign will live or die on the strength of your subject lines."

Subject LinesNotice how all my subject lines are just simple plays on either movie titles, movie quotes or other military-type phrases.

They're fun.

People love opening these emails just to see how I turn it into a promotion somehow.

They use edutainment;

Educational in some way (they include a brief lesson) and also;

Entertaining to read.

By writing your subject lines first you then have a strong base and inspiration for creating the content of each email.

And this is where the next step comes in...

Step 4. Write Your Email Drunk

Write Drunk, Edit SoberDon't worry.

This is not about drinking half a bottle of Jack Daniels and bashing away on your keyboard!

I don't literally mean you should get drunk.

This quotation;

"Write drunk, edit sober", has been attributed to Ernest Hemingway.

Some people dispute this (I was personally made aware of it by fellow email marketing expert, Ben Settle)


The idea is simple.

When you write your email - don't put your thinking-, or analytical-hat on.

Just write drunk. Loosey goosey.

"At first, just get the words written without caring or thinking too much about what you're saying."

Writing EmailsWrite as if you're speaking.

Talk in a way you would to a friend. Don't worry about formatting...

Focus solely on the words you're using.

Create a compelling story and don't obsess about the length.

There's no such thing as too short or too long.

Just capture everything you need to in order to tell the full story.

Make sure you follow-on directly from the subject line into the opening sentence of your email.

You also need to make sure you...


Step 5. Use These Five Cornerstones of Conversion

Success with Email1. Subject Line
2. First Line
3. Story
4. Lesson
5. Call To Action

And yes, this was not an error - there are FIVE cornerstones! 🙂

By having five corners, you stand out.

This is a primary objective of your email subject line and email marketing efforts.

The first Cornerstone is your subject line.

We've already tackled this above.

Second is the first line of your email - you need to have a natural and easy flow from subject line into your first line.

They need to be connected.

If your subject line asks a question, you need to reference that in the first line of your email.

If you use shock or controversy in your subject line, you need to address that in the first line of your email.

"For your first sentence in the email - don't repeat what you've already said in the subject line."

Creating EmailsMake everything flow smoothly.

The first line then needs to flow perfectly into the rest of the story.

People love stories, more than facts, more than statistics and more than promotions.

So use them.

At the end of the story, you need to give a powerful lesson and this lesson needs to seamlessly connect to the call to action.

All of this should ideally be using the same theme and angle;

If you get these "Five Cornerstones of Conversion" correct you will get a massive increase in open rates, click through rates and sales.

Here's some examples for you;

Step 6. Edit Your Email Sober

Edit Your Emails SoberNow it's time to put on your "detail-hat" and start editing what you've written.

It's easy to write a long email that rambles on.

It's much harder, and takes a lot longer, to write a shorter email that has excellent, short copywriting.

Top Tip: if you get bored re-reading what you wrote - get rid of it.

When you're editing your drunk-written email content ask yourself;

Would you open this email?

Would you keep reading after the first line?

"Short, baby steps is the key. Get people to make micro-commitments to keep reading."

Simple Steps Are BestYou just want your prospect to read the next word, the next sentence and so on.

The best writing flows naturally from one word to the next and from one sentence to the next.

It also needs to look interesting on the eye.


Use different sentence lengths.

This breaks up long copy.

This is where you put on your analytical head.


Read it out loud.

If you hit stumbling blocks as you're reading it out loud - get rid of or edit them.

Formatting is critical.

Make it look like a personal email.

I used to add linebreaks to make it look "cool" on a cellphone but it was unnatural and not how people send emails to one another.

The result?

Our emails ended up looking like promotional emails.

Nobody wants that.

I use Dreamweaver to create the HTML version of my emails:

I Use Dreamweaver to Edit Emails

But notice how I don't add any fancy formatting?

I only use HTML so the open rates and click through rates can be tracked by my autoresponder.

Which leads us nicely onto...

Step 7. Test the Email Using Your Autoresponder

You need an autoresponder service to collect email addresses and send emails in bulk on your behalf.

I've been using GetResponse for over 20 years.

I like them because they have good customer service.

They have good deliverability.

And it's very cost effective.

Here's how to send a test email from inside GetResponse:

Send Test Email Message

So firstly, does your email get inboxed?

If you're not getting into the inbox and people are reporting your emails going missing, getting spammed or ending up in the promotions tab be sure to read our guide on how to increase email engagement.

"What does your email look like? Does it actually stand out in a busy inbox and make you want to read it?"

I quite often re-read subject lines at lot and think they're fine.

It's only when they hit my inbox, that I sometimes make last-minute edits.

Preview Your Email

Make sure you check your email on a cell phone;

Is it still readable?

Can you click on the link?

Be sure to spam-check your email to make sure it doesn't have any flag words and click your link to test everything in the sales funnel;

Spam Check Your Emails

Don't forget to activate tracking;

Tracking Email Performance

The three most-common things to track are;

  • Open rate
  • Click through rate
  • Conversion rate


You can have the best open rates and click through rates and make nothing...

You need to track your SALES from email.

The other stuff can point you in the right direction.

But don't get lost in "ego data".

"When it comes to email marketing tactics - profit is the only real statistic that counts."

Clickthrough rates can falsely feed your ego.

How much money does the email make? This is the real question.

In fact;

This is the ultimate measure of email marketing success.

Once you're happy with how your email looks, it's reaching the inbox, and all the tracking is set up is, it's time to...

Step 8. Select Your Ideal Recipients

Now you need to select who you want to send your email to.

This might sound obvious, but you need to select the best prospects;

Add Email Recipients

One way of doing this is to use list segmentation.

Divide your list up.

You can actually use automation rules with Getresponse to remove buyers from your promotional emails, so anybody that has already bought the product will be excluded from your broadcast.

Email Automation

Set Up Email Automation RulesYou should also clean your list, regularly.

You can do this easily with Getresponse by running a search for people that haven't clicked in a certain period of time, or people that have a low engagement scores;

Clean Your Email List

Also, only send the email to people who are not currently getting any of your automatic autoresponder messages.

You don't want to have people getting your automatic emails in a current sequence, as well as your daily live or regular live email broadcasts.

This can lead to unsubscribes, or even worse - complaints.

Now it's time to send or schedule your email broadcast;

Schedule Your Emails

This varies depending on your target audience and market demographic.

We found early morning and early evening to be best.

An email marketing study shows;

"More people check their email first thing in the morning than check their social media."

It's best to stay out of their inbox during the day, when it will be busier and more crowded.

Now let's move on to...

Step 9. Fire But Don't Forget

Tracking Email AnalyticsYou need to be a scientist...

Each email is a chance to improve your marketing.

Don't just look at the open rate, and click through rate, look at the over all performance of the email in terms of how it could help your complete marketing approach.

Track performance in a detailed way:

Look at opens, clicks, sales, unsubscribes and replies.

I regularly re-use entire email marketing campaigns again (if they've been a hit the first time).

By setting up simple rules, you can exclude people who've already seen the campaign.

This saves you a huge amount of work.

Obviously it needs to be an evergreen offer, which is still current.

"Once you strike gold and create an email marketing campaign which really works, you need to leverage it again and again."

You can learn and improve from every email you send;

Either it becomes a poster-child you can use again or something you can improve upon next time.

If it works you can follow-up in a similar vein with your follow-ups - consider similar themes for the entire email marketing campaign.

You now know the step-by-step process I use in my email marketing efforts.


I hope you enjoyed these free email marketing tactics.

I've created a free video training for you on how to turn your emails into money...


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